In high school, my usual self had once again distanced itself from what it once was. I stopped being the quiet guy in the classroom and claimed my place as the, or rather, as one of the local otaku.
Yes, one, because, by then, I had made a few more friends, so Oliver, who had moved away, was no longer the only one. However, the fact that my relationships increased was not the only thing different from before, for I also returned to old habits that I had forgotten.
Like before, as soon as the bell rang, I would get up, almost running from my seat, to return home as quickly as possible. But now, instead of playing video games, I planned to continue the novel I had left unfinished the day before or look for the new episodes of the week’s anime.
I didn’t even care if I was in mid-conversation with one of my friends because the only important thing in my eyes was what I had at home. Everything else was irrelevant.
Getting old enough to enter college didn’t stop those attitudes of mine. I was still immersed in my world, one that my parents decided not to take me out of since my grades at school never dropped, and I was even decorated for how high they were.
Moreover, my achievements did not stop there. I, surprisingly, managed to qualify, without much preparation, for a renowned public university. So why should my parents hold me back? That was something I believed, and apparently, they agreed with me.
When they heard the news of my classification, they were surprised, but most of all, they were proud of me, so they decided to rent me an apartment near the university where, with the money they would send me monthly, I could attend it without difficulties.
They trusted me and did everything to make my future easier. Unfortunately, that freedom they gave me was the last weight needed to break the thread of my sanity.
Upon arriving at my new apartment, the loneliness that I once felt in my childhood no longer existed in any part of my being, and that served to prove that I had grown up, that I was no longer the same innocent child as before.
Joy and happiness that’s all I felt. I thought I was in paradise because that was a place where the words of my parents would not bother me anymore. After all, even though they did not strongly oppose my actions, their advice always haunted my ears.
It was so uncomfortable to listen to my mother talk about how I should give up fantasy and start facing reality.
I genuinely believed she was wrong about me because even though I didn’t leave the house much, due to the influence of the internet, I considered myself vastly more mature than other boys my age.
As expected, my pride was still at the top, as after easily surpassing my classmates in my studies, I felt unstoppable; I considered myself better than everyone.
So much self-confidence and pride in my achievements turned into arrogance that eventually blinded me.
The beginning of the end came when I began to think that college would be the same as high school, that this would be nothing more than a small stepping stone that I could overcome without problems, and the problem with that was that… I was right.
I was born gifted with high intelligence, and that was something that was demonstrated in my university career because, in the beginning, I was able to pass the classes just by listening with a minimum of attention to what the teachers taught, and even though my grades were not so prominent, they were good enough to ensure my graduation, but that was the limit that I should not have crossed.
As time went by, I made new friendships. Friends with whom I could comfortably chat about our hobbies, but unlike high school guys, they and I were not entirely similar.
The variety in our group was great. While some liked to stay at home watching anime, others preferred to go out partying in search of alcohol and women.
Fortunately, I was too old to be swayed by their influences, as I was not interested in leaving my comfort zone. However, there were some of their practices that did appeal to me.
Missing classes is something I should never have done.
At first, I did it very rarely, only in those classes that I found too boring or irrelevant, but, like water flowing down a waterfall, my fall was unstoppable, and I got to the point where I only went to college once or twice a week.
The result was obvious. My grades dropped to a dangerous point, but I, at the time, didn’t care about that. After all, I thought it was enough to do well in the final exams.
And although I could do that a few times, letting the problem advance on its own, without stopping it, led to the expected result, one that even my supposedly great intelligence could not prevent.
I was expelled from the university.
Although I was wrong to think that I knew so much about the world and its inhabitants, if there is one thing I am sure of, it is that if other people went through what I did, it would be normal to expect a glimpse of maturity with which they would accept their mistakes, and perhaps even try to find a way to correct them.
But, such a comparison is absurd in itself, for I was not like that in the least.
Nothing improved in me, even though I was expelled. I did not change or mature. I continued to live in an apartment with my parents’ money. Besides, since I no longer had university expenses, I began to buy an excess of figures, games, comics, novels, and even anime posters.
When my parents asked me how I was doing in college, I just replied that everything was normal and that they should not bother me anymore because I was busy studying, and they, being used to receiving such a response, did not suspect me.
Thanks to that, all my actions and decisions, which I had made up to that point, led me into an endless cycle of vices. An incessant sinking that I could never stop on my own.
From the time I woke up until bedtime, all day and sometimes all night, I was in front of the computer, only stopping to go to the bathroom, to the kitchen, or bed.
But nothing lasts forever, and as the years went by, alarm bells went off in my parent’s minds.
In general, many factors influenced that to happen. After all, as time went by, I stopped worrying about hiding the truth from them, so it is even surprising that it took so many years before they began to doubt. And those doubts became a certainty when my mother came to visit my apartment, the place where she saw the deplorable state in which her son was.
I’m not sure what happened that day since, as was so often the case, I had been up all night the night before, so I spent the whole morning lying in bed, full of sweat from the heat of the day and with no clothes to cover me.
I don’t know what my mother saw before she left, as she didn’t even bother to wake me up after arriving. With the keys she requested from the landlord beforehand, she crept into the apartment and left the same way. Now I only hope that the enormous dirt in the living room or the foul smell in the kitchen was enough for her otherwise…
After that day, the money they sent me disappeared completely, so it was only a matter of time before I was evicted from the nest I had lived in for years.
It’s not that they just threw me out on the street, didn’t have the heart to do that, just demanded that I return to their home to continue living with them.
No matter what I had done, they continued to love me, but… dumb and stupid me couldn’t see that.
When I found out what they did, I threw a tantrum in the apartment I was about to leave, throwing everything around me to the floor and breaking several things in the process. I was upset with them, as they had taken away the independence I thought I deserved.
However, as much as I complained, having no income and no home to call my own, I had no choice but to follow his orders.
When I returned to my old home, my parents scolded me fiercely. Their anger was so great that my father, who had never raised his hand to me previously, was about to hit me, but my mother stopped him before he could.
Hahaha… is clear that they would be angry. Their actions were perfectly justified. After all, any parents would be furious to see their child ruin his own life, but… when I saw him get mad at me, instead of bowing my head and accepting my guilt, I got mad too.
Because of the ceaseless expulsion of emotions, I could not see what my damn problem was. On the contrary, I got angry with them for treating me like that, and then I yelled at them… we yelled at each other… and I claimed things from the past that I had never told them. Things that I now regret saying.
After such a fight, I went straight to lock myself in my room, although, hours later, after having cried myself to sleep, I regretted what I had done, yet I could not go downstairs to apologize. My useless pride prevented me from doing so.
Time went by, but things continued without changing, and although my mother tried to prevent it, I was still immersed in my fantasy, without leaving the room, no matter what she told me, trying to ignore the harsh reality.
I did not hate them. I never hated them. What I felt was hatred towards me and not towards them, since according to my incoherent criteria, despite my rude behavior, I believed that I loved them very much. After all, I could not easily forget everything they did for me.
Therefore, the main reason he avoided them was guilt.
I had spent too much time on the computer and in stressful video games, so my personality had become complete garbage. I was so easily annoyed by what she, my mother, would say to me, though I knew she was doing it for my good, and even if I later regretted it, it was still impossible for me to apologize.
At that time, the things I hated the most were the angry and disappointed looks from my father, whom I never spoke to again after our fight, and my mother’s advice.
I hated it with all my heart when she told me…
”Kyle, I think you should study something. Don’t worry about the cost. We will pay for it. Just look it up on the internet and then tell us what you want to do…”
Those were simple words that denoted so much affection, yet they irritated me too much.
I thought I was too old for that. I felt that I should look for a job that I could do with my ¨excellent¨ computer skills to help them a little with the household expenses and fix our broken relationship.
However, although I thought about it countless times, I never had enough willpower to do it.
Without a doubt, my mother was right. I should have left the fantasy behind and started living the reality.